Just days after his Purdue offer. Braden Smith gave his verbal to Coach Matt Painter.
While he will never be the biggest guard on the court, his shooting, grittiness, passing ability and athleticism will keep him on the court. Coach Painter has not been shy not recent years locking down the state of Indiana and the top talent. In 2022, he has Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer - both plus shooters and just straight up studs.
But, back to Braden Smith - what is this Purdue Basketball staff getting from him?
From just watching a few of his highlights - which are indeed highlights, you don't see bad plays on there, there is a lot of positive items to him.
- He always seems like he is the fastest player on the court. He has that next gear that not a lot of players have, he can get his own shot, at the rim or outside with this - even with his slight frame. He blows past defenders with his first step and it is extremely effective.
- He is a plus shooter as I said previously. With over 500 three point attempts, he has hit them at a 45% clip. He and Loyer are both bringing over 40% career HS 3 point shot to campus. He gets his shot on his own, or coming off of screens.
- His passing vision is impeccable. When he blows past his defenders, he kicks it out with ease, but does so with some immaculate passes on his tapes. He rarely turns the ball over too, something we have not had with a point guard since PJ Thompson.
- He plays bigger than his 6’ height. He has some dunks in games and bounces off the floor and gets above big guys. I am not saying he puts people on posters, but he does not have fear going at these big men.
- Lastly, he just seems like a Painter guy. I know this seems like a cliché statement, but in years past Painter has went in and out of the mold he recruits. But, this seems like a PJ Thompson or Dakota Mathias type of offer. Someone that is a bit under recruited, but has a high ceiling in the Matt Painter system. He will not be here until 2022, but after the loss of Jameel Brown, it feels oddly similar to the C.J. Walker recruitment, where he left and we got smaller Carsen Edwards, but had a better tape and high school career thus far. Jameel Brown decomitted from Purdue, but with a naked eye, Braden Smith may be the more impactful player in the long term - just seems all too familiar.